Boost for East-West Connector Project (Rt. 84)

Governor Schwarzenegger has signed into law a bill that should provide money for the cash strapped East-West Connector project, which used to be known as Rt. 84.

SB 791allows proceeds from the sale of Caltrans land to be used for the project, which includes a new road from Mission Boulevard to Paseo Padre Parkway and the widening of sections of Paseo Padre and Decoto Road. It’s designed to improve traffic flow from I-880 to the new smart growth development Union City is building near its BART Station.

The new law was needed because the new road will not be a state highway as was originally proposed.

For a story I did on the bill, click here. Ellen Corbett sponsored the bill.

Matt Artz


  1. The road to nowhere, Union City Bart Driveway.
    The cost 211 million dollars, about 55 million dollars a mile.
    This fiasco should be called the Ellen Corbett road to nowhere!

  2. This is one of the most egregious uses of public funds I’ve seen in a while.

    If this is being specifically built because of the apartments that are springing up near BART, why do we need a better/wider road from 880?

    Theoretically, shouldn’t those residents just be walking to BART to and from home each day, not going anywhere NEAR 880?

    I drive this route each and every day and have for quite a few years. It is NOT that bad. Not even close to as bad as University Avenue in Palo Alto/E. Palo Alto, but I don’t see anyone cramming a 6 lane thoroughfare down their throats.

    It’s kind of an oxymoron really – build a better highway so that more cars can get to the public transportation system more efficiently.

  3. Jen, you’re so right on the stupidity of building highway access to mass transit. Smart growth means housing near mass transit and jobs, not roads leading to housing near transit. Pour the money into busing to restore cut routes. From Niles to BART runs once an hour, down from twice an hour a few years ago. It makes it much, much harder to get there and back without driving.

  4. “…shouldn’t those residents just be walking to BART to and from home each day, not going anywhere NEAR 880?”

    Oh my. What, are you some kind of Queen of Niles, Jen?

  5. Marty – Huh? I guess if you want to crown me queen of somewhere because I am asking a question based on some common sense reasoning, that’s fine by me.

    This is the quote from Matt Artz’s blurb above:
    “It’s designed to improve traffic flow from I-880 to the new smart growth development Union City is building near its BART Station.”

    Why are you getting all snarky because I question this logic? Smart growth implies that it is, as Jon says, designed to build housing near mass transit, have those same people NOT use their cars to get to said mass transit, take transit to their jobs, which are NEAR transit. I don’t understand why they are using improving traffic flow to a transit center as a reason to build this road.

  6. Jen- I was referring to your “let them eat cake” sentiment toward the future residents of the Union City apartments.

    I think the 84 realignment predates the transit hub. But, don’t let that be a deterrent. This is a prime opportunity for you to wave those NIMBY bones.

  7. My point was directed more towards the builder/Union City, not the future residents. They wanted a high rise to have people live near the Intra-modal station and were promoting this “live/work/shop” transit community, but now they want a bigger ROADWAY leading to it? Like I said, an oxymoron.

    Personally, I would don’t understand the attraction of living near a transit center if you aren’t going to use it.

    And hey, if they want to live right around the corner from World Liquors (two shootings or a stabbing and a shooting – can’t recall) and the Cigarettes Cheaper (hopefully UC will try and improve the “retail” portion of their trifecta), nothing I can do to stop them.

    And where do you live, Marty, may I ask? You’ve made it clear that I am a “NIMBY” because I oppose certain projects that seem to be to be a poor use of public funds AND a drain on the quality of life in my area. Do you want an increase of noise, pollution and an influx of people in YOUR “backyard”? Or is it not applicable to you so you can feel free to point the finger at those of us who are skeptical about these “public projects”?

  8. If there was a train that went west from Union City, maybe more of those new residents wouldn’t have to drive?

    Or, perhaps some of those new residents will need more DB buses, which might justify more east-west road capacity between BART and 880.

    Also, it’s not as if the new residents are prohibited from driving. It’s Transit Oriented Development, not Transit Exclusive Development. Maybe one family member takes BART while another drives.

    Now, whether any of this new traffic requires this particular project is a whole ‘nother question. We’re long past the point when the discussion of why we need Grandson-of-84 was either rational or logical.

  9. I am a candidate for Fremont City Council and I would like to weigh in on this hot issue. I live in Niles and I use the Union City Bart station more than I use the Fremont station. The reason is I am closer to that station and Bart does not yet go to San Jose. I like what I see so far with all of the high density housing next to UC bart, but where is the shopping and dining facilties. My suggestion is that the Union City and Fremont city councils should have some dialog on building a shopping mall on the properties ajacent to the new Quarry lakes park. This area is very close to UC bart. This area has never been developed and makes good sense to use this property to build a shopping shopping mall. Then there would be a good reason to widen the roads coming 880. Then there would at least be a road to somewhere. Good idea! yea I know that is why I am running for Fremont city council, I am the best problem solver and visionary this area will ever know. Please vote for me on Nov.4th.

  10. Wow, Larry –

    You just ensured that I WON’T vote for you come election day.

    Yes, let’s build a shopping mall right next to an designated park and open space. That’s a fabulous idea. It will definitely enhance the experience at Quarry Lakes, a park that is quite heavily used btw, to be right next to a strip mall with yet another Starbucks and a constantly rotating “For Lease” sign because someone is always going out of business.

    I really do not understand the predilicition of so many people to fill every single open plot of land left in Fremont with a strip mall.

    Just because an area has never been developed doesn’t mean that you need to throw something up there – nature abhors a vacuum and apparently so does Larry Montgomery … not every plot of land cries out for a shopping mall.

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